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BMC Research Notes

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Research note

Criteria

Research note is the main article type of BMC Research Notes and is suitable for

  • Extensions or updates to previously published research
  • The reporting of additional controls and confirmatory results
  • Short descriptions of research projects that did not provide publishable results but represent valuable information regarding protocol and data collection
  • Additions to established (software) tools and experimental or computational methods, e.g. new functionality or user interface, improvements in performance or the release on a new platform
  • Description of a biomedical dataset or database
  • Null results and orphan data
  • Small scale clinical studies and audits
  • Research proposals
  • Data management plans

Authors must clearly acknowledge any work upon which they are building, both published and unpublished.

Additional criteria apply if your manuscript describes a software tool, dataset, database, research proposal or data management plan. Please click on the respective link below to view these. These manuscripts should still be submitted as a research note as article type.

Preparing your manuscript

The information below details the section headings that you should include in your manuscript and the information required within each section. For a one-page summary of what a research note article should look like, please click here.

Please ensure you adhere to the word limits for research notes:

  • Abstract: 200 words
  • Introduction, main text and limitations together: 2000 words

List of abbreviation, declarations, references, figures, figure headings, figure legends, tables, table headings and table legends do not count towards the above stated word limits.

Please note that your manuscript must include a ‘Declarations’ section including all of the subheadings (please see below for more information).

Please limit the number of tables and figures in your manuscript to 3 in order to be consistent with a note article type. Additional figures and/or tables can be included as supplementary files.

Title page

The title page should:

  • Present a title that includes a clear description of what the manuscript reports
  • List the full names, institutional addresses and email addresses for all authors
    (If a collaboration group should be listed as an author, please list the group name as an author. If you would like the names of the individual members of the group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please include this information in the “Acknowledgements” section in accordance with the instructions below)
  • Indicate the corresponding author

Abstract

The abstract should not exceed 200 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract must include the following separate sections:

  • Objective: The purpose and objective of the research presented.
  • Results: A brief summary of the main findings.

If the data presented is a single observation or the side product of another research project then authors should state this in the abstract under objective.

Keywords

Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.

Introduction

The introduction should be brief and provide the motivation/objective for the work presented in the manuscript, e.g.

  • Where does the data come from?
  • Why was the data obtained?

If the data presented is a single observation or the side product of another research project then authors should state this in the introduction. This will not negatively impact editorial assessment as BMC Research Notes aims to make single observations available to the scientific community.

We are not looking for a detailed and lengthy introduction to the topic and authors should instead cite relevant review articles. Authors should not provide a general review of the related literature but instead cite relevant work if the manuscript extends previously published or unpublished research.

For data management plans, the introduction should briefly summarize the research project for which the data management plan was written.

Main text

This should contain the body of the research note, and may also be broken into subsections with short and informative headings. Authors should concisely describe the data or results they present and provide a critical discussion of the findings within the context of the research field. If an observation cannot be explained or put in context of the current literature then authors are encouraged to state that.

Limitations

BMC Research Notes considers scientifically valid manuscripts irrespective of the interest of a study or its likely impact. In order to ensure submissions to BMC Research Notes are of maximum benefit to the research community, authors should clearly state the limitations of their work.

Introduction, main text and limitations together must not exceed 2000 words.

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations should be provided.

Declarations

All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':

  • Ethics approval and consent to participate
  • Consent for publication
  • Availability of data and material
  • Competing interests
  • Funding
  • Authors' contributions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Authors' information (optional)

Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections.

If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must:

  • include a statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived)
  • include the name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate

Studies involving animals must include a statement on ethics approval.

See our editorial policies for more information.

If your manuscript does not report on or involve the use of any animal or human data or tissue, please state “Not applicable” in this section.

Consent for publication

If your manuscript contains any individual person’s data in any form (including individual details, images or videos), consent for publication must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. All presentations of case reports must have consent for publication.

You can use your institutional consent form or our consent form if you prefer. You should not send the form to us on submission, but we may request to see a copy at any stage (including after publication).

See our editorial policies for more information on consent for publication.

If your manuscript does not contain any data from any individual person, please state “Not applicable” in this section.

Availability of data and materials

All manuscripts must include an ‘Availability of data and materials’ statement. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. By data we mean the minimal dataset that would be necessary to interpret, replicate and build upon the findings reported in the article. We recognise it is not always possible to share research data publicly, for instance when individual privacy could be compromised, and in such instances data availability should still be stated in the manuscript along with any conditions for access.

Data availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets): 

  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]
  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].
  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].
  • Not applicable. If your manuscript does not contain any data, please state 'Not applicable' in this section.

More examples of template data availability statements, which include examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available here.

BioMed Central also requires that authors cite any publicly available data on which the conclusions of the paper rely in the manuscript. Data citations should include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI) and should ideally be included in the reference list. Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs. For example:

Hao Z, AghaKouchak A, Nakhjiri N, Farahmand A. Global integrated drought monitoring and prediction system (GIDMaPS) data sets. figshare. 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.853801

With the corresponding text in the Availability of data and materials statement:

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS].[Reference number]

Competing interests

All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section.

See our editorial policies for a full explanation of competing interests. If you are unsure whether you or any of your co-authors have a competing interest please contact the editorial office.

Please use the authors initials to refer to each author's competing interests in this section.

If you do not have any competing interests, please state "The authors declare that they have no competing interests" in this section.

Funding

All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared.

Authors' contributions

The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. Guidance and criteria for authorship can be found in our editorial policies.

Please use initials to refer to each author's contribution in this section, for example: "FC analyzed and interpreted the patient data regarding the hematological disease and the transplant. RH performed the histological examination of the kidney, and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript."

Acknowledgements

Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article who does not meet the criteria for authorship, including anyone who provided professional writing services or materials.

Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.

See our editorial policies for a full explanation of acknowledgements and authorship criteria.

If you do not have anyone to acknowledge, please write "Not applicable" in this section.

Group authorship (for manuscripts involving a collaboration group): if you would like the names of the individual members of a collaboration group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please ensure that the title of the collaboration group is included on the title page and in the submission system and also include collaborating author names as the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section. Please add authors in the format First Name, Middle initial(s) (optional), Last Name. You can add institution or country information for each author if you wish, but this should be consistent across all authors.

Please note that individual names may not be present in the PubMed record at the time a published article is initially included in PubMed as it takes PubMed additional time to code this information.

Authors' information

This section is optional.

You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader's interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.

Endnotes

Endnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript lowercase letter and all notes (along with their corresponding letter) should be included in the Endnotes section. Please format this section in a paragraph rather than a list.

References

All references, including URLs, must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. The reference numbers must be finalized and the reference list fully formatted before submission.

Examples of the BioMed Central reference style are shown below. Please ensure that the reference style is followed precisely.

See our editorial policies for author guidance on good citation practice.

Web links and URLs: All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do. Accessed 20 May 2013. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link (e.g. for blogs) they should be included in the reference.

Example reference style:


Article within a journal
Smith JJ. The world of science. Am J Sci. 1999;36:234-5.

Article within a journal (no page numbers)
Rohrmann S, Overvad K, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Jakobsen MU, Egeberg R, Tjønneland A, et al. Meat consumption and mortality - results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. BMC Med. 2013;11:63.

Article within a journal by DOI
Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Dig J Mol Med. 2000; doi:10.1007/s801090000086.

Article within a journal supplement
Frumin AM, Nussbaum J, Esposito M. Functional asplenia: demonstration of splenic activity by bone marrow scan. Blood 1979;59 Suppl 1:26-32.

Book chapter, or an article within a book
Wyllie AH, Kerr JFR, Currie AR. Cell death: the significance of apoptosis. In: Bourne GH, Danielli JF, Jeon KW, editors. International review of cytology. London: Academic; 1980. p. 251-306.

OnlineFirst chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI)
Saito Y, Hyuga H. Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Top Curr Chem. 2007. doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.

Complete book, authored
Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P. Symptoms in the pharmacy: a guide to the management of common illness. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998.

Online document
Doe J. Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. 1999. http://www.rsc.org/dose/title of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan 1999.

Online database
Healthwise Knowledgebase. US Pharmacopeia, Rockville. 1998. http://www.healthwise.org. Accessed 21 Sept 1998.

Supplementary material/private homepage
Doe J. Title of supplementary material. 2000. http://www.privatehomepage.com. Accessed 22 Feb 2000.

University site
Doe, J: Title of preprint. http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/mydata.html (1999). Accessed 25 Dec 1999.

FTP site
Doe, J: Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2169.txt (1999). Accessed 12 Nov 1999.

Organization site
ISSN International Centre: The ISSN register. http://www.issn.org (2006). Accessed 20 Feb 2007.

Dataset with persistent identifier
Zheng L-Y, Guo X-S, He B, Sun L-J, Peng Y, Dong S-S, et al. Genome data from sweet and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). GigaScience Database. 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.5524/100012.


Figures, tables and additional files

See General formatting guidelines for information on how to format figures, tables and additional files.

Submit your manuscript in Editorial Manager